MSC orders two more cruise ships

Mar 16, 2004
Author: P&S

Mediterranean Shipping Cruises, a division of Mediterranean Shipping Company has confirmed reports that it would be adding further ships to the cruise fleet with the announcement this week of orders for two newbuildings with the French Alstom Marine shipyards at St Nazaire, along with an option for a third.

The two new ships will enter service with MSC in June 2006 and the Spring of 2007. Each vessel will be 294m in length, with a width of 32.2m enabling passage through the Panama Canal and will have 1,275 cabins for a passenger load of over 3,000 guests.

The ships are being designed with cruising in the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas in mind and 75% of the cabins will feature balconies. MSC took delivery of their newbuilding MSC Lirica in March 2003 and expects to accept MSC Opera in May this year.

It has also been confirmed that MSC Rhapsody will cruise in South African waters this coming summer between November 2004 and April 2005 under charter to Starlight Cruises.

The ship replaces the ill-fated charter that involved Olympia Countess, which was subsequently arrested and sold under auction. It also marks a return to the use of MSC cruise ships by the local cruise operator. MSC Rhapsody has called at Durban on previous occasions.

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